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Research & Innovations

Gynecological Cancers

View the complete list of Gynecological Cancer Clinical Trials

Pelvic Organ Prolapse

Title: Treatment of pain using a non-implanted intra-vaginal electrical stimulation device compared to a vaginal dilator in chronic pelvic pain patients
IRB: 15-150
Treatment: Pelvic pain
Status: Open
Principal Investigator: Elim Shih, MD
Research Line: 216.445.8090

Title: A prospective randomized trial comparing restorelle Y mesh vs. restorelle dual flat mesh for laparoscopic and robotic-assisted laparoscopic sacrocolpopexy
IRB: 14-354
Treatment: Pelvic Organ Prolapse
Status: Open
Principal Investigator: Cecile Unger, MD
Research Line: 216.445.8090

Title: A randomized control trial on the effect of local analgesia on postoperative gluteal pain in patients undergoing sacrospinous ligament colpopexy
IRB: 13-1413
Treatment: Pelvic Organ Prolapse
Status: Open
Principal Investigator: Cecile Unger, MD
Research Line: 216.445.8090

Title: Evaluation of the use of transvaginal Resorbable biologic mesh as compared to traditional non-mesh surgical repair for treating pelvic floor disorders
IRB: 14-260
Treatment: Pelvic Organ Prolapse
Status: Open
Principal Investigator: Marie Paraiso, MD
Research Line: 216.445.8090


Title: Controlling Anal Incontinence by Performing Anal Exercises with Biofeedback or Loperamide: a Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial (CAPABLE)
IRB: 13-1503
Treatment: Fecal incontinence
Status: Open
Principal Investigator: Eric Jelovsek, MD
Research Line: 216.445.8090

Title: Effects of Surgical Treatment Enhanced with Exercise for Mixed Urinary Incontinence (ESTEEM)
IRB: 13-1061
Treatment: Combined treatment for mixed incontinence (stress and urge)
Status: Open
Principal Investigator: Beri Ridgeway, MD
Research Line: 216.445.8090

Gynecologic Oncology

Research in the section of gynecologic oncology has covered the gamut of gynecologic malignancies. We presently have phase 3 trials in ovarian, cervical and endometrial cancers, involving both national cooperative groups from the Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG) as well as industry trials to assess the standard of care for these diseases. We are participating in phase 1 clinical trials nationally to evaluate cutting edge therapies for cervical and ovarian cancers, including antiangiogenic agents. Our clinical trials cover both primary therapy as well as recurrent disease, with the hope of expanding our knowledge as well as offering our patients unique treatments not offered elsewhere. Finally, our department is also investigating novel MUC1 vaccine agents in the attempt to prevent recurrence of ovarian cancer with some promising results.

Maternal-Fetal Medicine

Research activity in the section of maternal-fetal medicine primarily deals with the pathogenesis of preeclampsia. This includes the putative effects of progesterone on activation of vascular endothelial cells by TNFα, sFlt-1 and sEng, and the role of heme oxygenases and carbon monoxide system. Also, we are studying the potential impact of new insights into the natriuretic peptide system on hypertensive disease in pregnancy. On the clinical side, we continue to participate in the PCOR study (Pregnancy and Cardiovascular Outcomes Registry), which looks at the relationship between certain complications during pregnancy and the development of cardiovascular disease later in life. Finally, we continue to assess the impact of new protocols for aneuploidy screening and patient preferences.

Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility

The Section of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility has an active and varied basic science and clinical research program. Residents at all levels of training are encouraged to participate in ongoing projects. We will also support studies on other topics that they may want to investigate. The following is a list of the areas of research our labs are currently pursuing.

  • Development of 3-D culture models for prolonged in vitro cultivation and maturation of human preantral ovarian follicles.
  • Study of extracellular matrix components and their role in folliculogenesis.
  • Derivation of embryonic stem cell lines using a novel feeder layer.
  • Co-culture models and identification of embryotrophic secretions.
  • Growth factor modulation of embryonic growth, blastocyst differentiation and apoptosis.
  • Non-invasive techniques including time-lapse photography and characterization of embryonic secretions for assessing embryo vitality and predicting clinical outcome.
  • Characterization of endometrial secretions during the window of implantation.
  • Optimizing ovarian tissue cryopreservation and transplantation.
  • Development of methodology for single sperm cryopreservation.
  • DNA fragmentation and hyaluron binding for sperm selection for ICSI.
  • Role of oxidative stress in endometriosis.
  • Role of angiogenic stem cells on endometrial development and IVF success.

For more information on andrology services at Cleveland Clinic Beachwood please visit the Andrology Laboratory Services at Cleveland Clinic Beachwood Fertility Center.

Center for Urogynecology and Reconstructive Pelvic Surgery

The Center for Urogynecology and Reconstructive Pelvic Surgery at Cleveland Clinic includes nationally and internationally recognized scientists and clinician-investigators performing basic, translational and clinical research dedicated to improving the understanding and treatment of pelvic floor disorders such as urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse and fecal incontinence. Highlights of current research activities include:

Women's Health

The Center for Specialized Women’s Health encompasses holistic care of women, often with complex medical conditions, and provides cutting edge evidence based therapies. The research program emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach to the study of women’s health concerns. Collaboration between the multidisciplinary staff at the Center with a diverse group of clinicians from across Cleveland Clinic and Case Western university allows for novel approaches and the dissemination of the latest breakthroughs in women’s health research. Our staff have worked along with the Case Western School of Dentistry to examine periodontal issues in women taking bisphosphonate therapy and with Cleveland Clinic's Department of Radiology to assess compliance with osteoporosis screening. Ongoing areas of study include treatment of osteoporosis, gynecologic concerns after bone marrow transplant, resident education, cervical cancer screening, sexual dysfunction, pelvic organ prolapse and stress incontinence. Additionally, Dr. Holly L. Thacker, MD, is the recipient of a $10,000 research grant from the Healthnetwork Foundation Service Excellence Awards, given annually to 10 top physicians who have consistently gone above and beyond for members. Dr. Thacker also is being recognized for demonstrating a long-term commitment to premium-level patient care and medical research.